Friday, May 15, 2009

Deputy Scott Payne Arrested for Stealing Fuel

A Gordon County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested after an investigation linked him to the theft of fuel.

Scott W. Payne, 37, of Derby Lane, Calhoun, has been terminated as a deputy sheriff and jailed on theft and drug charges, Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said.

According to Ralston:

Upon assuming office on Jan. 1, 2009, Ralton ordered a thorough audit and review of the operation of the Sheriff’s Office.

Part of this audit included an examination of fuel consumption in official vehicles. A serious discrepancy was noted concerning a particular deputy sheriff in the patrol division. As this discrepancy appeared very serious, Ralston contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) to conduct an independent criminal investigation.

This investigation, which began in April, spanned several weeks and concluded with Payne’s arrest Monday by the GBI on theft charges.

When Payne was being allowed to retrieve personal belongings from a patrol car, he attempted to grab and destroy a cigarette box found to contain what is believed to be marijuana.

In addition to the theft charge, Payne will be charged with violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act by the GBI. He was booked at the Gordon County Jail and housed in a neighboring jurisdiction pending bond proceedings.

Payne had been employed in the Sheriff’s Office since November 1995, serving under two previous administrations. He was certified as a peace officer in October 1997.

Officer Zachariah Brown Arrested for Stealing from Evidence Room

A Temple Terrace police officer has been arrested after investigators say drugs went missing from an evidence room.

Zachariah Brown, 33, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, petit theft and tampering with evidence.

Detectives say an internal investigation was launched after the drugs went missing, and the investigation led to Brown.

Brown was placed on administrative leave. He has been with the Temple Terrace Police Department since 2005.

Officer Marvin Bryant Charged with Larceny

A Lake View police officer has been charged with petit larceny in Marion County, Marion County Sheriff’s Office incident reports show.

Marvin Dougles Bryant, 24, of Latta is on administrative leave, an official with the Lake View Police Department said. It’s not clear whether he’s on paid leave.

A Marion County sheriff’s detective said he had surveillance video of a man in a police uniform taking a backpack sprayer and tie-down strap from outside of his store in Mullins. Deputies spoke with a Lake View police lieutenant, who identified the suspect on the video, reports show.

Bryant was arrested Thursday and has been released from the Marion County Detention Center. Bond information wasn’t available.

Elba Caban Files Lawsuit Against Officer Who Broke Her Arm

A woman has filed a brutality lawsuit against the local police, saying that an officer broke her arm after stopping her car and arresting her on a highway ramp in 2007.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday at U.S. District Court in New Haven on behalf of Elba Caban, her lawyer, David Rosen, said Thursday. It was assigned to Judge Warren W. Eginton in Bridgeport. The suit asks for an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages and other costs.

Police have no comment on the incident, said Officer Hugo Benettieri, a department spokesman. Details about Caban's arrest were not available because the charges against her eventually were dismissed.

According to a press release written for Rosen by a public relations firm, the clash occurred on Nov. 29, 2007, after Caban left her Sisson Street apartment "to remove herself from a domestic dispute with her brothers."

One of her brothers had called police, the release says, providing a description of his sister as being 4 feet 10 and 110 pounds.

Police stopped the car she was in on an I-84 on-ramp and removed her, the release says. Officers Christopher Vasseur and Darrell Drouin began to "interrogate" her, it says, asking questions about her education and marital status.

Officer John Dupont arrived and charged Caban with disorderly conduct, the release says. When Caban responded that she should not be charged with a crime, "Dupont became enraged," it says, grabbing her and wrenching her arm behind her back.

When she cried out in pain, the release says, "Dupont told her to 'shut up' and snapped her humerus in two."

Before she was taken from the scene in an ambulance, police charged her with assault on a police officer and "for behaving as a negligent pedestrian," the release says.

Two Former Officers & a Lawyer Charged with Attempted Murder


Dozens of members and associates of a motorcycle gang, including two former police officers and a lawyer, were charged yesterday with attempted murder, cocaine and steroid distribution, and related crimes.

A 35-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Detroit was part of a long-running state and federal investigation of The Highwaymen.

Authorities said 30 defendants were in custody yesterday, and others were being sought.

Of the 74 people charged, 16 men were accused of being leaders of the gang and of directing others to carry out crimes. Some defendants were accused of conspiring to kill members of another motorcycle club, and others were charged with transporting stolen motorcycles into Michigan.

Two former police officers from Garden City and Hamtramck, an attorney and group president Joseph "Little Joe" Whiting were among those named in the indictment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Marion said Whiting was expected to arraigned today.

William Swor, an attorney for ex-Garden City police sergeant David "Stifler" Tomlan, said his client liked to ride motorcycles and had "done nothing wrong." Richard Convertino, attorney for former Hamtramck police officer Randell Hutchinson, said his client was not a member or an associate of the Highwaymen.

The investigation, which spanned many years, was "the largest prosecution in the history of Michigan" and one of the largest of its kind in the country, U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg said yesterday.

The Highwaymen is a national organization based in Detroit, Berg said.